MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 9,860 this week

If I Had My Way (1940)

 -  Comedy | Musical  -  26 April 1940 (USA)
6.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.4/10 from 94 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 1 critic

When a fellow bridge builder is killed in an accident, two of his co-workers bring his now orphaned daughter to New York to be adopted by relatives.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 376 titles
created 17 Jun 2012
 
DVD
a list of 131 titles
created 03 Jul 2012
 
a list of 447 titles
created 04 Nov 2012
 
a list of 310 titles
created 03 May 2013
 
list image
a list of 939 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "If I Had My Way" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: If I Had My Way (1940)

If I Had My Way (1940) on IMDb 6.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of If I Had My Way.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Ginger Rogers, "Allure" magazines editor-in-chief, suffers from headaches and continuos daydreams and undergoes psychoanalysis to determine why.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland, Warner Baxter
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Navy engineer, returning to the U.S. with his wife from a conference, finds himself pursued by Nazi agents, who are out to kill him. Without a word to his wife, he flees the hotel the ... See full summary »

Directors: Norman Foster, Orson Welles
Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dolores del Rio
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A brash American gramophone salesman tries to get Emperor Franz Joseph's endorsement in turn-of-the-century Austria.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Bing Crosby, Joan Fontaine, Roland Culver
Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Popular songwriter Oliver Courtney has been getting by for years using one ghost writer for his music and another for his lyrics. When both writers meet at an inn, they fall in love and ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Schertzinger
Stars: Bing Crosby, Mary Martin, Basil Rathbone
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Yacht owner is stranded on island with her socialite friends, a wacky husband and wife research team, and a singing sailor.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Bing Crosby, Carole Lombard, George Burns
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jim Curtayne, formerly a successful defense attorney who is now a recovering alcoholic, attempts a comeback when he defends a neighbor's son a homicide charge.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Pat O'Brien, Diana Lynn
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two producers are putting together a wartime charity show with an all-star cast but the egotism of radio personality Eddie Cantor disrupts their plans.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Eddie Cantor, Dennis Morgan, Humphrey Bogart
Gentleman Jim (1942)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

As bareknuckled boxing enters the modern era, brash extrovert Jim Corbett uses new rules and dazzlingly innovative footwork to rise to the top of the top of the boxing world.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Errol Flynn, Alexis Smith, Jack Carson
Road to Rio (1947)
Adventure | Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Two inept vaudevillians stow away on a Brazilian-bound ocean liner and foil a plot by a sinister hypnotist to marry off her niece to a greedy fortune hunter.

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour
Musical | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A rich and famous singer disguises himself as a waiter in order to be near the woman he loves, a European princess.

Director: Frank Tuttle
Stars: Bing Crosby, Kitty Carlisle, Roland Young
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Of the singing Beebe brothers, young Mike just wants to be a kid; responsible Dave wants to work in his garage and marry Martha; but feckless Joe thinks his only road to success is through ... See full summary »

Director: Wesley Ruggles
Stars: Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, Donald O'Connor
Hot Saturday (1932)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A pretty but virtuous small-town bank clerk is the victim of a vicious rumor from an unsuccessful suitor that she spent the night with a notorious womanizer.

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Cary Grant, Nancy Carroll, Randolph Scott
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Buzz Blackwell
Gloria Jean ...
Patricia Johnson
Charles Winninger ...
Joe Johnson
El Brendel ...
Axel Swenson
Allyn Joslyn ...
Jarvis Johnson
Claire Dodd ...
Brenda Johnson
Moroni Olsen ...
Mr. Blair
Nana Bryant ...
Marian Johnson
Donald Woods ...
Fred Johnson
Kathryn Adams ...
Miss Corbett
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Julian Eltinge ...
Julian Eltinge
Trixie Friganza ...
Grace La Rue ...
Grace La Rue
Eddie Leonard ...
Eddie Leonard
Six Hits and a Miss ...
Six Hits and a Miss - Singing Group
Edit

Storyline

Bridge construction worker Fred Johnson is raising his twelve year old daughter after his wife's death, but when he is killed suddenly in an accident, responsibility falls to his two friends, Buzz Blackwell and Axel Swenson. They bring young Pat to New York, but are given the brush by Fred's well-to-do brother and his socialite wife. They end up making contact with her elderly great-uncle, an unsuccessful vaudevillian, and his wife, who are only too happy to raise the youngster. Unfortunately the money that would make that possible is used by Axel to buy a failing Swedish restaurant drowning in red ink. In order to salvage their investment, Buzz comes up with a novel idea. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 April 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Petite et charmante  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Restored DVD edition)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Marian Johnson: Buzz is right. Who wants to sit in a Swedish garden?
Axel Swenson: Swedes!
See more »

Soundtracks

April Played the Fiddle
(uncredited)
by James V. Monaco and Johnny Burke
Sung by Bing Crosby and Six Hits and a Miss
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

West Side of Heaven
7 June 2003 | by (Kissimmee, Florida) – See all my reviews

IF I HAD MY WAY (Universal, 1940), produced and directed by David Butler, stars Bing Crosby, on loan from Paramount, in an agreeable musical-comedy with a title that can often be confused with his most memorable performance as Father Chuck O'Malley in GOING MY WAY (Paramount, 1944). Crosby doesn't play a priest here, but a good-natured construction worker named "Buzz" Blackwell. His best friend is Fred Johnson (Donald Woods), a fellow construction worker who is a widow caring for his young daughter, Patricia (Gloria Jean). After Fred is killed during a hazardous assignment on one of he nation's highest projects, it is up to Buzz to become guardian to the orphaned girl who has a singing voice like an angel. Assisted by Axel Svenson (El Brendel) and his pet squirrel, Buzz learns that Patricia has relatives living in Manhattan and decides to take her over to her rich uncle living at 940 East 56th Street. However, Jarvis B. Johnson (Allyn Joslyn) and his attractive wife, Brenda (Claire Dodd) prove to be nothing but snobs, with Jarvis wanting nothing to do with his brother (because he had married an actress), nor his child. The next best thing is for Buzz to locate Patricia's great uncle, Joe Johnson (Charles Winninger), who lives on the west side of Manhattan. Both he and his wife, Marian (Nana Bryant), simple heart-warming people, welcome the child, whom they haven't seen since she was an infant, and gladly take her in. After Axel uses up all their money in a small neighborhood restaurant, it is up to Buzz to save the day once more, this time by transforming the place into a profitable nightclub, with Joe Johnson, a former vaudevillian, to help out with the entertainment.

New songs by Johnny Burke and James V. Monaco include: "Meet the Sun Half Way," "I Haven't the Time to Be a Millionaire" (sung by Bing Crosby and Gloria Jean); "Little Gray Home of the West" (Gloria Jean); "Pessimistic Character" (Crosby and cast members); "If I Had My Way" (Crosby to Jean); "Ida" (sung by Eddie Leonard in black-face, and Six Hits and a Miss); "Rings on My Fingers" (sung by Blanche Ring); "April Played the Fiddle" and "Meet the Sun Half Way" (reprise/finale, with Crosby and Jean). Of the songs presented, "I Haven't Time to Be a Millionaire" comes off best. The title tune, slow in tempo, is fine but forgettable.

The supporting players include Moroni Olson (John Blair, the bank president); Kathryn Adams (Miss Corbett); Emory Parnell (Gustave Svenson); Barnett Parker (The Floorwalker); and vaudeville acts (which were usually cut from most TV prints) with guest stars Blanche Ring, Trixie Friganza, Paul Gordon (the cyclist) Grace LaRue and Julian Eltinge.

Not as famous as the other Bing Crosby musicals of the day, IF I HAD MY WAY certainly is one of those "feel good" movies helped along by the presence of the young and likable Gloria Jean, who was by then age 11 or 12. Making her movie debut in THE UNDER PUP (1939), Jean became Universal's answer to becoming a junior Deanna Durbin. Like Durbin, Jean had a fine singing voice, but unlike Durbin, the duration of her films for Universal consisted mainly of quickly produced "B" musicals. S She never rose above the ranks to appearing in a major "A" product, unless supporting a major star. While Jean appeared in a handful of lightweight films for Universal from 1939 to 1945, almost all of them are ignored and forgotten today, with the exception of the rarely seen "film noir" DESTINY (1944), where she played a blind girl, a role she is best remembered, along with NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK (1941), playing the niece to W.C. Fields. If it weren't for this Fields comedy, which continues to be in circulation today, Gloria Jean would be one of those forgotten names known solely by film historians.

IF I HAD MY WAY, which runs at 94 minutes, is predictable yet enjoyable, not unlike Crosby's other musicals he was making over at Paramount. It may never develop into a sort-after classic, in spite of its current availability on DVD, but it's a worthy discovery from Hollywood's by-gone era. (***)


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss If I Had My Way (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?